Honeysuckle wins the Champion Hurdle on day one of Cheltenham Festival

Honeysuckle won the feature Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

The top class mare raced clear of her rivals to take the £189,911 first prize under Rachael Blackmore.

The 31-year-old, second in the title race to become champion in Ireland, was the first female jockey to win the highlight of the opening card.

She was sent off the well-backed 11-10 favourite, Honeysuckle took her unbeaten run to 11 races in the Grade 1 contest.

"I'm speechless to be honest," said Blackmore.

"She's just so incredible. I just cannot believe we have won a Champion Hurdle."

Honeysuckle crossed the line six-and-a-half lengths in front of Sharjah (11-1), who chased home another mare in the race in 2020, Epatante.

The reigning champion (4-1) took third, a further three lengths behind.

"Henry (De Bromhead) produces her at her best every time and it's just phenomenal," Blackmore added.

"She's still getting better."

Goshen ran very wide down the back straight, while Abacadabras was an early faller.

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